14-Day Project II - Days 1-14 - COMPLETE!

14-Day Project II - Days 1-14 - COMPLETE! - student project

DAY 1: Greetings From My Balcony

Yesterday I spent several hours doing some gardening and cleaning in my balcony, after putting it off for months.

I used whatever markers I had on hand. Mostly Faber Castell Pitt brush pens. I also used Uni Posca markers, but they're wet and take a while to dry so I won't be using them. I loved the idea of not using paint or anything too fussy to work with so as to make this flow faster.

I started this in English but decided to complete it in my native language, Hebrew. 

I liked Dylan's recommendation to think about something that's relevant to right now. Not a general thing like my living room which is always there.

I didn't worry too much about color choices or composition. And I let myself "overdo it" with a busy page because I enjoy that.

I love the idea of picking the low-hanging fruit, the path of least resistance, not trying to create a masterpiece. I'd love to be able to keep going every day like this. It was freeing and fun.

It was also nice to give myself credit for all the hard work I accomplished yesterday and reflect on how I didn't want to do it but then felt motivated to keep going once I got started.

Here's my sketch and a photo from the balcony.

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DAY 2: Past Hobbies

Brainstorm: my visit to Switzerland, my career as a software developer, a previous city I lived in, physical exercises I used to do, my cats as kittens, past hobbies. 

List: Past hobbies: pottery, spinning yarn, knitting, sewing, papier mache

Approach: flat lay

I did the planning stage on the other side of the page. I found it helpful to make quick sketches of each concept. Papier mache was too difficult so I omitted it.

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I started by drawing a dress I sewed, then added the ceramic pots and vase, then knitting and spinning. Then I added some text and smaller elements to fill in the space: a cat paw disrupting spinning, some stitch markers for knitting, spools of sewing thread, a pin cushion, etc.

I really like how this page turned out, and I enjoyed just drawing freely, going for the easy things and not being too worried about perfection.

DAY 3 - Present Art Medium

I've recently found a new interest in trying gouache again, so this is what today is about. I went with English text this time :-)

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Here's the full spread - I incidentally did the gouache color mixing tests in the page next to it.

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DAY 4: Future Plans and Wishes

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I made this one without too much composition and color planning, as I usually do. It was a bit rushed but I enjoyed it, although it didn't come out amazing - but that's not the goal, right? I used a black brush pen for the text - it's a bit chunky so I think I'll go back to a smaller pen next time. It feels good to complete the daily page though.

DAY 5 - Mindful Of

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I followed Dylan's layout choice and then added the somewhat circular circles/blobs around each icon. I enjoyed drawing these from memory, not necessarily finding references and just accepting that they won't be perfect. This day and the other days are a practice of accepting imperfection, without planning, just drawing, and whatever happens happens. Less judgement, more drawing. Being more intuitive and free, less cerebral.

DAY 6 - Favorite Color Combo

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I changed the prompt from favorite color to favorite color combo - red+blue, and worked loosely first in pencil and then with only two markers. I enjoyed being loose and free and messy. I also used the two markers on top of each other to create a third darker color. I drew objects that were around me.

DAY 7 - Belly Laugh

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One of the things that's made me laugh lately is the theme song of Star Trek Enterprise. It's a country-music-sounding theme song which is so not Star Trekky. We've been referencing it at home in nonsensical ways.

I am NOT laughing at Star Trek or at Captain Jonathan Archer! I love Star Trek! It's been such a source of escape and fun these past few months as we've watched all the episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and now Enterprise.

I did a rough pencil sketch first - I find it helpful. I'm quite pleased with how I captured Captain Jonathan Archer's essence. I wouldn't have attempted it and I would have done too much overthinking and tried to be more realistic if it weren't for the spirit of this class.

Also I misspelled Enterprise. Oops.

DAY 8 - Body Love

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I decided to draw healthy foods because to me eating healthy is one way of respecting and loving my body.

I roughed out the layout in pencil because I usually struggle with composition - but gave myself slack and didn't try to make it perfect. Also I felt like using gouache, but I allowed myself to use it "wrong" - a bit watery, sometimes dry, imperfect. Then I used a dried out black brush pen to add some outlines and details. I love how unpredictable paint and dry brush can be. I also slowed down a bit with my lettering and I love the result! I feel like I've learned something today and improved, but at the same time I didn't pressure myself to make a perfect masterpiece. THIS is why illustrated journaling is so great!

DAY 9 - I wonder what it would be like to live in the English countryside

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I made this one by finding a reference image online, rough pencil sketch, lines with a fine rollerball pen and then watercolor on top, and finally some white ink using a dip pen. I didn't want to use markers since I don't have that many colors and I wanted a variety of greens and neutral tones.

This paper is pretty thin, not mixed media paper and definitely not watercolor paper... But I had fun!

I plotted out the general placement with a ruler, but put it aside once I felt I could freehand it. I love that I didn't force myself to be super precise.

DAY 10 - Home

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I actually did day 9 on the evening of day 8, and then on day 9 I did days 10 and 11. I was on a roll and having fun.

For day 10 and onwards, I decided to use mixed media paper. I found a way to paste it into my sketchbook, but in future I'll be purchasing mixed media sketchbooks instead because I like using water based media.

For day 10 I wrote some things I do at home and find comforting. I started with a rough pencil sketch, then ink (08 micron pen - waterproof this time...), then watercolor in several layers for shading, then colored pencil, then some white ink with a dip pen. It was a lot of fun. My favorite part is the couch, and the textures and patterns added with colored pencil.

DAY 11 - Map of my neighborhood walk

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At first I thought I'd draw a map of my home and all the places cats like to sit, but I wasn't feeling it. So I used google maps and drew the streets where I take a walk first in pencil, then pen (03 micron), then markers and colored pencil. 

I added some features along the walk to fill in the empty space, mostly animal-related. I feel that it looks a bit technical and "boring" but that's okay. It was good drawing practice.

Day 12 - Sky

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Today I felt like sitting down and painting for a longer time, so I found a reference photo of a sky (https://unsplash.com/photos/iI1SSTbW218) and painted it using gouache on mixed media paper. Then pasted it into my sketchbook. I'm quite happy with how it turned out and I enjoyed the process. I also learned from this not to make the initial sketch in pencil, as you can still see the pencil lines underneath. But that's okay.

DAY 13 - Report Card

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A fun and breezy prompt :-) I painted the report card paper in gouache and did the rest in brush markers, colored pencil, and fineliner pen.

DAY 14 - A Dream

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I decided to sit down and paint in gouache again for a longer time. A dream I have is to visit Switzerland again. At first I searched for reference images of beautiful Swiss scenery, but then I looked through my own photos from my visit in 2014 and chose this one.


I enjoyed this 14-day journaling class and actually completed it in 14 days. I've never done that before, so it feels like an accomplishment, and also it was a lot of fun! Thank you Dylan for making the class and keeping it low-pressure :-)

Keren Duchan
Doodler, Teacher